Tips for choosing a reputable firestop contractor
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When it comes to hiring a firestop contractor for your facility, it may be time consuming and difficult to figure out which contractor will do the best job for your facility. There are likely numerous contractors that claim to be the best in the business, but it’s important for a facility’s safety to choose one that will conduct the job safely and to code-required standards. To help narrow down your search from the many contractors available, make sure they are able to answer “yes” to the following questions:

Do They Understand Building Code?
Understanding the code is the first hurdle to doing the job correctly, all while keeping the occupants in the facility safe. It’s important to have a contractor that has a complete understanding of the code, so you know their work with be compliant and sufficient for AHJ inspections. The most important responsibility as facility managers is maintaining the safety of your facility and its occupants, so make sure you are hiring a contractor that also has the facility’s best interest in mind.

Do They Attend Firestop Meetings?
Some contractors will maintain membership with certain organizations that help them stay on top of building code, and any new developments or changes in firestop. One of these organizations may be the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) or the International Firestop Counsel (IFC). Being a member of these types of organizations allows the contractor to attend meetings and workshops that only pertain to firestop, so they are constantly furthering their education and knowledge. This will help your contractor spot out any issues with compliance in your facility and how to fix them.

Do They Use the Right Tools?
There are many different tools and materials that can be used for various firestopping jobs, and it’s crucial to know which one to use in any given scenario. Depending on the manufacturer your contractor is using and the type of firestop is needed, there are thousands of different UL system requirements that should be used for the job. It’s important that your contractor knows the difference between them, and how to find the right products as these systems are not interchangeable between manufacturers.

Will They Provide You With Documentation?
A reputable contractor will provide detailed documentation following a firestop project in your facility. This documentation should include thorough analysis of the job that was conducted, maps of facility floor plans labeled where firestopping was needed, as well as before and after pictures of the job. If your contractor is unable to provide these items in your documentation, your facility could be facing a fine or consequence during the next Joint Commission survey.

Since facility managers’ highest responsibility is to maintain the safety of a building, any outside contractor that is hired for a job should carry the same level of safety and responsibility. Regular maintenance of your fire barriers and firestopping will help keep a potential fire contained, allowing the occupants time to egress to safety. When you are looking to hire a contractor for your next firestopping project, don’t hesitate to ask these questions to ensure you are hiring a company that has your facility and occupants’ best interest in mind.

Learn more about firestopping, or a firestop maintenance program. Or give us a call at 877-392-6074 or request a free quote online.
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